Olympic Figure Skating Results 2014: Top Performances from Opening Day

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2014

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 06:  Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia compete in the Figure Skating Pairs Short Program during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Iceberg Skating Palace on February 6, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

The action that precedes the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics is complete, with the highlight of the day being the figuring skating routine in singles and pairs competition.

While no medals were on the line, the event was a way for individuals and teams alike to put their countries on the fast track to some hardware.

The United States stumbled out of the gate in both categories, while local Russian heroes did right by their fans and took strong positioning in both regards, as NBC helps to illustrate:

The full standings are final, and three performances in particular stand out. 

Men's Short Program Results
Rank Name Country Score Team Points
1 Yuzuru Hanyu Japan 97.98 10
2 Yevgeny PlushenkoRussia 91.39 9
3 Patrick Chan Canada 89.71 8
4 Han Yan China 85.52 7
5 Florent Amodio France 79.93 6
6 Peter Liebers Germany 79.61 5
7 Jeremy Abbott USA 65.65 4
8 Yakov Godorozha Ukraine 60.51 3
9 Matthew Parr Great Britain 57.40 2
10 Paul Bonifacio Parkinson Italy 53.94 1


Team Pairs Short Program Results
Rank Skaters Country Score Team Points
1 Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov RUS 83.79 10
2 Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford CAN 73.10 9
3 Peng Cheng & Zhang Hao CHN 71.01 8
4 Stefania Berton & Ondrej Hotarek ITA 70.31 7
5 Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir USA 64.25 6
6 Maylin Wende & Daniel Wende GER 60.82 5
7 Vanessa James & Morgan Cipres FRA 57.45 4
8 Narumi Takahashi & Ryuichi Kihara JPN 46.56 3
9 Julia Lavrentieva & Yuri Rudyk UKR 46.34 2
10 Stacey Kemp & David King GBR 44.70 1


Yuzuru Hanyu, Japan

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 06:  Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan competes in the Figure Skating Men's Short Program during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Iceberg Skating Palace on February 6, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

What a way to start the Games in Sochi.

At 19 years of age, Yuzuru Hanyu was awfully composed in front of thousands of fans as he ripped off a 97.98 score thanks to some eye-popping combinations. Nick McCarvel of NBC Olympics helps to break the performance down:

Incredibly enough, Hanyu says he was "out there to have fun," as McCarvel captures:

Japan has an obvious lead as a result of Hanyu's strong showing, and while Japan is the obvious favorite, this event is far from over.

It was a near-perfect performance from a young athlete undaunted by the biggest stage in the world. It's still very early, but it's quite possible spectators may have just witnessed the best performance in any sport that these Games have to offer.


Yevgeny Plushenko, Russia

Feb 3, 2014; Sochi, RUS;  Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko arrives at the Sochi airport as he is greeted by media for interviews. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

The comeback story for Yevgeny Plushenko is about to come full circle.

Plushenko is one of the most recognizable faces in the sport's history at the age of 31. Over the course of his prestigious career, he won silver in 2002 and 2010, with the highlight being his gold medal in 2006.

But Plushenko underwent back surgery in February and has hardly been seen since.

The obvious goal of his recovery was a gold medal in front of his home fans, and he is well on his way with the 91.39 score he posted on opening day. After the impressive run, Plushenko did not appear to be suffering any setbacks, once again via McCarvel:

Plushenko appears to have another epic run left in the tank, which was readily apparent with his performance that landed him in second place.


Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, Russia

Darron Cummings/Associated Press

As far as action in the team pairs program goes, it is hard to mention any team but Russia's duo of Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov. 

Volosozhar and Trankov ended with a score of 83.79, which effectively blew all other total scores out of the water.

The duo was fueled by a very active and friendly crowd, as Ollie Williams of BBC points out:

The dominant showing in front of the proverbial home crowd was the highlight of the evening, as Elliott Almond of the San Jose Mercury News illustrates:

Russia has a major advantage with things fully underway, and the pair of Volosozhar and Trankov appear to be an unstoppable force.


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